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Leadership Styles During the COVID-19 Crisis - What can you Learn?

Leadership Styles During the COVID-19 Crisis - What can you Learn?

What are you projecting consciously or unconsciously?

It's funny how the images of leaders develop, and during extreme challenges, some gain gravitas or lose credibility almost overnight. As a leader in your business, what are you projecting consciously or unconsciously? This article is to provide some perspective and guidance, so you can understand what things make the biggest impact when being a leader - even when you don't know where things will end!


Boris v Donald

I tried to imagine what would be happening right now if we still had Teresa May as PM. I think the way the UK government have handled the crisis has been text book. All being well, Boris will emerge from this on a par with his idol Churchill. On the other hand the US President Donald Trump, and the American handling of the COVID-19 Crisis has looked amateur. Now, I'm not so naive as to judge this on what the media report alone, but here's the thing...


US v UK COVID-19 Briefings

UK Briefings v USA Briefings

The UK Government has looked organised, answered questions without waffle and had experts who really know their stuff. The briefings are via video conference, the politicians and experts are strategically spaced to demonstrate social distancing. The USA is to a room of journalists with a bunched up group of advisors, huddled around a single lectern, with Donald Trump holding court.

Boris and Donald were 'tarred with the same brush' just a few months ago

Both of these big personalities were largely regarded as buffoons by the media, in conversations down the pub, or for those who are healthier, at the gym. While Boris has become a decisive leader with what, I think is fastly becoming regarded as a genius appointment, of Rishi Sunak as Chancellor.

Donald Trump is continuing to be the source of comedy material in many of the WhatsApp jokes doing the circuit. (Although I must admit to liking the spat with the journalist about calling it the Chinese virus).


Donald Trump Joke on WhatsApp



In many ways, Donald Trump goes against all the things we think a leader should be. Great leaders are careful communicators and think before they speak. Trump, on the other hand, can stir up global outrage with a single Tweet. Great leaders accept criticism, while Trump has a tendency to fight back. Great leaders are driven by what’s best for their team and the people they serve, while Trump is more driven by ego.




Are You Leading Through the Crisis … or Managing the Response?

This is a great article on Linked in, but it's also a great question, one I think anyone who runs a business needs to ask themselves. There is no text book with how this will play out, we're all making it up as we go. Some will have experience of previous recessions, but nobody will have anything like this experience in their locker. People look to the leaders to lead at times of crisis. Whether your leading your family unit, your team, department or division - or in Boris's case, the UK. It's up to you to make the difference and be best the leader you can be.

Boris or Donald, which one are you more like in your leadership style?

Putting politics aside, Boris appears to take a broader view, be a team player by distributing the focus across the deck of specialists advising him. The trap for leaders is trying to control everything, and then you become the point of weakness. Here's what I've taken from the article - there's a link to the full article on LinkedIn at the foot of the page.


Leading through a crisis requires taking the long view, as opposed to managing the present

You need to anticipate what comes next week, next month, and even next year in order to prepare the organisation for the changes ahead. You need to delegate and trust your people as they make tough decisions, providing proper support and guidance based on your experience while resisting the temptation to take over.

The solution is to seek order rather than control

Order means that people know what is expected of them and what they can expect of others. Leaders must acknowledge that you can’t control everything. Determine which decisions only you can make and delegate the rest. Establish clear guiding values and principles while foregoing the temptation to do everything yourself.

Not Forgetting the Human Factors

While it may seem obvious, crises are crises because they affect people. However, leaders can instead become trapped by focusing on the daily metrics of share price, revenue, and costs. These are important, but they are the outcome of the coordinated efforts of people. Organisations exist in order to accomplish together things that individuals cannot do alone.

The solution is to unite people in their efforts and goals as valued members of a cohesive team. This starts with a common, clearly articulated mission that infuses the work with purpose. The mission is then animated through an inclusive leadership approach where each person understands how they can contribute—and that their contribution is recognised. This gives deeper meaning to even the most menial tasks.

The above paragraphs are extracts from

Are You Leading Through the Crisis … or Managing the Response?
by Eric J. McNulty  and Leonard Marcus


A large part of the issue is the unknown, as a business leader people will be looking to you for answers - and you need to demonstrate leadership. Because it's not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

Stephen Megson Founder of Love Business and Business Owner


Author of this COVID-19 Business Support Hub Article

Stephen Megson Founder of Love Business and Business Owner

Steve Megson

I'm a keen sailor and experienced in encountering the unknown at sea. With my son, Josh, I sailed my boat to Spain from my home port of Poole, my greatest adventure to date (if you read the blog you'll understand why!). Encountering the unknown is about having a clear goal and making sure you keep focused - no matter what happens.

More About Quiet Storm


Stephen Megson

A business owner since I was 21 –I was one of the 'enterprise allowance'  generation and started my business back in 1987. I've ridden the waves of a few recessions and overcome plenty of unknowns. I understand the pressure of employing people and the emotional rollercoaster times like this put you through. I've been very fortunate in my career to work with many brilliant visionaries. I've learnt much from them, but for those who know me well, know my quest for learning is never satisfied.

I now specialise in behaviour and business process optimisation, so look at how businesses interact with their people, customers and other stakeholders. I then work collaboratively with businesses to drive out waste and optimise their processes. This is largely through some form of digitisation, resulting in web applications and operational software to manage their systems, processes and KPI's.

I'm passionate about business and have a strong sense of community, which is why I started Love Business back in 2012, as I saw the innovative business owners start to thrive whilst other remain in a cycle of self-fulfilling doom as a result of the media channels negative news coverage. This is why Love Business only covers good news, focusses on the positive and looks to share all that's helpful.


How to get in touch with Steve Megson



COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 

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